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All-Time College

Now here's a funny idea -- Dikembe Mutombo, Patrick Ewing, and Alonzo Mourning all on the floor simultaneously as part of the All-Time Georgetown basketball team. Mourning, on this theory, becomes a small forward. That would be at least funny to watch, though in practice I suspect you'd want to use one of the three as a sixth man.

November 16, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

WTF is up with the ESPN idiots who both have the all-time Providence team beating my all-time Kentucky Wildcats? Fuck that noise.

Posted by: Haggai | Nov 16, 2005 11:53:44 PM

Yeah, I'd have Reggie Williams start at the three, esp. against the small, quick Illinois team. Question is, which of the big three do you sit?

Posted by: swoof | Nov 17, 2005 12:22:42 AM

You sit Dikembe.

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Nov 17, 2005 10:28:38 AM

Actually, Haggai, I was shocked at how lame the Kentucky team was! One thinks of Kentucky as such a great basketball school, but compare them to, say, Kansas - which has a front line of Wilt and Manning. You're going with Sam Bowie. Yikes.

Just as interesting as the Georgetown lineup with 3 centers (and, to think they have PFs Othella Harrington and Mike Sweetney off the bench - what a power lineup!) is the Georgia Tech lineup with 3 small PGs - Kenny Anderson, Mark Price, and Marbury.

Frankly, I was a little taken aback at the lack of big men on the UNC team. I mean, are we going to get a JR Reid sighting? They are very lucky that UCLA, Kansas and Georgetown are all on the other side of the bracket - any one of them would crush UNC.

Posted by: Al | Nov 17, 2005 10:31:03 AM

Bowie was a great college player before spending his whole NBA career on the injured list, but yeah, he's not Danny Manning. UK has won more championships than anyone except UCLA, but without having as many sexy players as a lot of other top programs.

One overrated bunch in that all-time tournament, though, is LSU. Shaq and Chris Jackson didn't make it to the Final Four when they played together. Adding Bob Pettit and *Pete Maravich* into that starting line-up is indeed very frightening, but there's still only one ball to share between those guys. Jackson's 29 ppg plus Pistol's 44 ppg does NOT equal 73 ppg, and you've got the two big men wanting shots as well, with only 40 minutes of game time to go around. Those guys would get upset early. But I don't think anyone would beat an all-time UCLA team, certainly not with Wooden coaching. Alcindor and Walton up-front, game over.

Posted by: Haggai | Nov 17, 2005 11:47:35 AM

Not only did Shaq and Chris Jackson not make it to the Final Four, they never even made it to the Sweet Sixteen! Even when they played together!

That being said, Pete Maravich can be argued to be the greatest college player of all time. 44 PPG - holy mackerel (as the late, great Al Maguire used to say). Nobody else even comes close, not even Wilt.

Posted by: Al | Nov 17, 2005 1:43:34 PM

Yeah, Shaq and Jackson played just one year together at LSU, the '89-'90 season, when Shaq was a freshman and Jackson was a sophomore. They lost to Ga. Tech (with their "Lethal Weapon III" attack) in the second round. Jackson left for the NBA after that season.

Maravich was the greatest college scorer of all time, 44 ppg long before there were 3-pointers, which might very well have pushed his average up to 50. But for greatest college player ever, I'll take Alcindor: two losses total in three seasons, three national titles, three Final Four MVPs. Although Maravich would definitely be on my first-team All Time college starting five.

Posted by: Haggai | Nov 17, 2005 1:53:37 PM

Rules of the game as laid out by Scoop Jackson in his introductory article state that we aren't supposed to be evaluating based on college careers, but something like the basketball peak of a given player, so imagine the college era Maravich teamed up with the late 90s Shaq (I think as an individual player Shaq was at his peak slightly before the championship run, when he started putting on all the weight that hampered his mindblowing athleticism; he was still young and fit, and he'd learned a lot from having Olajuwon kick his ass in 1995...)

And keep in mind, Providence probably has the best player on the floor in Lenny Wilkens, in addition to some explosive scorers. I bought Neel and Jackson's agreement for how their style of play would defeat Kentucky.

(I thought the hardest matchup to puzzle out was Michigan State vs. Arizona, myself.)

Posted by: Quarterican | Nov 17, 2005 2:07:12 PM

Not evaluating based on college careers? That's completely idiotic.

Wilkens was amazing, no doubt, but Providence wouldn't even be able to come close to stopping Issel and Mashburn, not to mention Givens off the bench.

Posted by: Haggai | Nov 17, 2005 2:21:16 PM

Yeah, I clicked on that article after you mentioned it. It should just be on college careers, otherwise it makes no sense. But I agree with Quarterican that Providence would win the game, in a mild upset.

I've got to say that the Elite-8 matchups of Kansas/Georgetown (assuming Georgetown even gets by Michigan State, which isn't a given) and UNC/Maryland would be hard to call. UCLA obviously takes the Rupp bracket. I dunno who takes the Assembly Hall bracket - maybe Houston. I think my sleeper for the bottom half would have to be Maryland - nice front court, plus Lenny Bias and Steve Franchise.

(I admit that my first hand basketball knowledge only goes back to the Jordan/Fred Brown - Gtown/UNC game; everything before that is just from reading/hearing about it.)

Posted by: Al | Nov 17, 2005 2:33:13 PM

Maryland? Nope. You guys are both crazy about Providence beating UK. Coaching counts for an awful lot in college hoops, and the all-time Kentucky coach knew a thing or two about match-ups and winning. I'd take Adolph Rupp over Lefty Driesell or Dale Brown any day of the week. Providence would certainly benefit from having Pitino, but (going by my own rules and assigning the coach to the era in which he was at his best *with that team*, which at least makes sense) we're talking 1987 Pitino, not the championship winning coach of 10 years later. At that point, he was a very good coach, but not a great one yet.

Posted by: Haggai | Nov 17, 2005 2:42:25 PM

That being said, Pete Maravich can be argued to be the greatest college player of all time. 44 PPG - holy mackerel (as the late, great Al Maguire used to say).

That is laughable. Minimally, you'd put Alcindor, Robertson, and Walton ahead of him. I'm sure there are many more.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Nov 17, 2005 7:12:36 PM

I thought Dikembe and Mourning did play together; and that didn't work out so hot.

Posted by: IF | Nov 17, 2005 8:28:57 PM

I was amazed the all-time Michigan State team includes only one guy, Mateen Cleaves on the bench, from the Izzo era. I guess that's a reflection on how damn good a coach Izzo is, having been to four Final Fours with no one as good as Scott Skiles or Steve Smith, to say nothing of Magic.

Posted by: witless chum | Nov 18, 2005 9:24:14 AM

Similarly, the all time North Carolina team includes nobody from the post-Jordan era. That is, nobody from the past 20 years - no Carter, Jamison, Wallace, Stackhouse, May, Felton, Eric Montross (*ahem*), etc., even though Carolina won two national championships during that time. Unlike MSU, though, I suppose that's a function of how good the players from the Jordan and earlier eras were...

Posted by: Al | Nov 18, 2005 12:41:30 PM

Play Dikembe at center, 'Zo at PF. Bench Ewing, the most overrated center in the history of basketball.

Posted by: Meph | Nov 18, 2005 7:52:33 PM

There's no way Walton or Robertson were better that Maravich. Maravich, until injuries caught up with him, was one superfantastic pro player in addition to his 3 best ever college seasons. Maravich was the ball handler that Ernie DiGregorio was and the scorer that, well, Maravich was. If we're choosing up basketball teams in heaven and you start picking with Alcindoor, you're toast. You begin with 1 of 3 players: Chamberlain, Magic, or Maravich. (Chamberlain, Magic, Maravich, Alcindoor, Bird, Walton, E, Robertson, Jordan, Tiny)

And having settled the issue, wrote no more that day.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis | Nov 19, 2005 5:00:24 PM

I saw Maravich play against a Wooden UCLA team in the LSU Ag Center. Before the game the press asked John Wooden what he was going to do to stop The Pistol. Coach Wooden allowed that he might actually have to put a guard to stop Pete (much the same way LSU stopped JJ Redick yesterday).

The game started. One guard lasted about 5 minutes, Pete was shredding UCLA. Two guards lasted until the half, Pete was still shredding UCLA. After the half, UCLA came out with THREE guards on Pete. I saw him dribble down-court against three guards like they weren't even there. Not once, not twice, but an entire half. They didn't affect his shooting one little bit, nor his passing.

UCLA still won though. The rest of the LSU team was so bad it didn't matter what Pete did.

Pete broke the mold on how you play college ball. EVERY single thing players do today, Pete made possible. Before Pete, players did exactly what coaches told them to. The game was very rigid. After Pete, guys saw what could be done, and did it.

Records aside, Maravich is the greatest ever because he completely changed the way college ball is played.

Posted by: carrell | Mar 25, 2006 4:27:29 AM

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